Theoretical Understanding (theoretical + understanding)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Beyond Therapy: Problem-Solving Courts and the Deliberative Democratic State

LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 4 2008
Rekha Mirchandani
Problem-solving courts (drug courts, community courts, domestic violence courts, and mental health courts), unlike traditional courts, attempt to get at the root of the individual and social problems that motivate criminal behavior. Theoretical understandings of problem-solving courts are mostly Foucauldian; proponents argue that these new institutions employ therapeutic techniques that encourage individuals to self-engineer in ways that subtly increase state power. The Foucauldian approach captures only some elements of problem-solving courts and does not fully theorize the revolution in justice that these courts present. Problem-solving courts, domestic violence courts in particular, orient not just around individual change but also around social change and cultural transformation. Combining the Foucauldian idea of a therapeutic state (as developed by James Nolan) with an understanding of the deliberative democratic mechanisms of larger-scale structural transformation (found in Habermas and others) leads to a more balanced and empirically open orientation to the actual motivations, goals, and achievements of problem-solving courts. [source]

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and its application in Alzheimer's disease

Pravat K. Mandal
Abstract Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a noninvasive tool to measure the chemical composition of tissues (in vivo) and characterize functional metabolic processes in different parts of the human organs. It provides vital biological information at the molecular level. Combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an integrated MRI/MRS examination provides anatomical structure, pathological function, and biochemical information about a living system. MRS provides a link between the biochemical alterations and the pathophysiology of disease. This article provides a comprehensive description of the MRS technique and its application in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. This review is a primer for students and researchers seeking a firm theoretical understanding of MRS physics as well as its application in clinical AD research. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Concepts Magn Reson Part A 30A: 40,64, 2007. [source]

Quantifying Plant Population Persistence in Human-Dominated Landscapes

Base de Datos de la Diversidad Natural de California; conservación de plantas; crecimiento de la población; especies en peligro; paisajes urbanos Abstract:,We assessed population performance of rare plants across a gradient from rural to urban landscapes and evaluated 2 hypotheses central to strategic conservation planning: (1) population performance declines with increasing human dominance and (2) small populations perform poorly relative to larger ones. Assessing these hypotheses is critical to strategic conservation planning. The current conservation paradigm adheres to the well-established ecology theory that small isolated populations, particularly those in human-dominated landscapes, are the least likely to succeed over the long term. Consequently, conservation planning has strongly favored large, remote targets for protection. This shift in conservation toward ecosystem-based programs and protection of populations within large, remote systems has been at the expense of protection of the rarest of the rare species, the dominant paradigm for conservation driven by the endangered species act. Yet, avoiding conservation of small populations appears to be based more on theoretical understanding and expert opinion than empiricism. We used Natural Heritage data from California in an assessment of population performance of rare plants across a landscape with an urban-rural gradient. Population performance did not decrease in urban settings or for populations that were initially small. Our results are consistent with a pattern of few species extinctions within these landscapes over the past several decades. We conclude that these populations within compromised landscapes can contribute to overall biodiversity conservation. We further argue that conservation planning for biodiversity preservation should allocate relatively more resources to protecting urban-associated plant taxa because they may provide conservation benefit beyond simply protecting isolated populations; they may be useful in building social interest in conservation. Resumen:,Evaluamos el funcionamiento de la población de plantas raras a lo largo de un gradiente de paisajes rurales a urbanos y evaluamos 2 hipótesis centrales para la planificación estratégica de la conservación: (1) declinaciones en el funcionamiento poblacional con el incremento de la dominancia humana y (2) las poblaciones pequeñas funcionan pobremente en relación con las grandes. La evaluación de estas hipótesis es crítica para la planificación estratégica de la conservación. El paradigma actual de la conservación se adhiere a la teoría ecológica bien establecida que propone que las poblaciones pequeñas aisladas, particularmente en paisajes dominados por humanos, tienen menor probabilidad de sobrevivir a largo plazo. Consecuentemente, la planificación de la conservación ha favorecido objetivos grandes y remotos. Este cambio hacia programas de conservación basados en ecosistemas y la protección de poblaciones en sistemas extensos y remotos ha sido a costa de la protección de las especies más raras entre las raras, el paradigma dominante en la conservación conducida por el acta de especies en peligro. No obstante, la evasión de la conservación de poblaciones pequeñas parece estar basada más en entendimiento teórico y en la opinión de expertos que en el empirismo. Utilizamos datos del Patrimonio Natural de California en una evaluación del funcionamiento de plantas raras en un paisaje con un gradiente urbano a rural. El funcionamiento de la población no decreció en sitios urbanos o en poblaciones que eran pequeñas inicialmente. Nuestros resultados son consistentes con un patrón de extinción de especies en estos paisajes en las últimas décadas. Concluimos que estas poblaciones en paisajes comprometidos pueden contribuir a la conservación de la biodiversidad en general. También argumentamos que la planificación de la conservación para la preservación de la biodiversidad debería asignar más recursos para la protección de taxa de plantas asociadas a ambientes urbanos porque pueden proporcionar beneficios de conservación más allá de simplemente proteger poblaciones aisladas; pueden ser útiles para construir el interés social por la conservación. [source]


CRIMINOLOGY, Issue 2 2007
Recent criminological research has explored the extent to which stable propensity and life-course perspectives may be integrated to provide a more comprehensive explanation of variation in individual criminal offending. One line of these integrative efforts focuses on the ways that stable individual characteristics may interact with, or modify, the effects of life-course varying social factors. Given their consistency with the long-standing view that person,environment interactions contribute to variation in human social behavior, these theoretical integration attempts have great intuitive appeal. However, a review of past criminological research suggests that conceptual and empirical complexities have, so far, somewhat dampened the development of a coherent theoretical understanding of the nature of interaction effects between stable individual antisocial propensity and time-varying social variables. In this study, we outline and empirically assess several of the sometimes conflicting hypotheses regarding the ways that antisocial propensity moderates the influence of time-varying social factors on delinquent offending. Unlike some prior studies, however, we explicitly measure the interactive effects of stable antisocial propensity and time-varying measures of selected social variables on changes in delinquent offending. In addition, drawing on recent research that suggests that the relative ubiquity of interaction effects in past studies may be partly from the poorly suited application of linear statistical models to delinquency data, we alternatively test our interaction hypotheses using least-squares and tobit estimation frameworks. Our findings suggest that method of estimation matters, with interaction effects appearing readily in the former but not in the latter. The implications of these findings for future conceptual and empirical work on stable propensity/time-varying social variable interaction effects are discussed. [source]

Equilibrium and growth shapes of crystals: how do they differ and why should we care?

Robert F. SekerkaArticle first published online: 15 MAR 200
Abstract Since the death of Prof. Dr. Jan Czochralski nearly 50 years ago, crystals grown by the Czochralski method have increased remarkably in size and perfection, resulting today in the industrial production of silicon crystals about 30 cm in diameter and two meters in length. The Czochralski method is of great technological and economic importance for semiconductors and optical crystals. Over this same time period, there have been equally dramatic improvements in our theoretical understanding of crystal growth morphology. Today we can compute complex crystal growth shapes from robust models that reproduce most of the features and phenomena observed experimentally. We should care about this because it is likely to result in the development of powerful and economical design tools to enable future progress. Crystal growth morphology results from an interplay of crystallographic anisotropy and growth kinetics by means of interfacial processes and long-range transport. The equilibrium shape of a crystal results from minimizing its anisotropic surface free energy under the constraint of constant volume; it is given by the classical Wulff construction but can also be represented by an analytical formula based on the ,-vector formalism of Hoffman and Cahn. We now have analytic criteria for missing orientations (sharp corners or edges) on the equilibrium shape, both in two (classical) and three (new) dimensions. Crystals that grow under the control of interfacial kinetic processes tend asymptotically toward a "kinetic Wulff shape", the analogue of the Wulff shape, except it is based on the anisotropic interfacial kinetic coefficient. If it were not for long range transport, crystals would presumably nucleate with their equilibrium shape and then evolve toward their "kinetic Wulff shape". Allowing for long range transport leads to morphological instabilities on the scale of the geometric mean of a transport length (typically a diffusivity divided by the growth speed) and a capillary length (of the order of atomic dimensions). Resulting crystal growth shapes can be cellular or dendritic, but can also exhibit corners and facets related to the underlying crystallographic anisotropy. Within the last decade, powerful phase field models, based on a diffuse interface, have been used to treat simultaneously all of the above phenomena. Computed morphologies can exhibit cells, dendrites and facets, and the geometry of isotherms and isoconcentrates can also be determined. Results of such computations are illustrated in both two and three dimensions. (© 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

e-Integration in the Supply Chain: Barriers and Performance,

Markham T. Frohlich
ABSTRACT Current opinion holds that Internet-based supply chain integration with upstream suppliers and downstream customers (called "e-integration" in this paper) is superior to traditional ways of doing business. This proposition remains untested, however, and similarly we know little about what are the upstream, internal, and downstream barriers to implementing e-integration. This paper empirically addressed these questions using data from a large single nation study, and found (1) a positive link between e-integration and performance, and (2) that internal barriers impeded e-integration more than either upstream supplier barriers or downstream customer barriers. Findings from this study contribute to our theoretical understanding of implementing change in contemporary supply chains, and have important implications for manufacturers interested in improving their supply chain's performance using the Internet. [source]

Towards an integration of ecological stoichiometry and the metabolic theory of ecology to better understand nutrient cycling

Andrew P. Allen
Abstract Ecologists have long recognized that species are sustained by the flux, storage and turnover of two biological currencies: energy, which fuels biological metabolism and materials (i.e. chemical elements), which are used to construct biomass. Ecological theories often describe the dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems in terms of either energy (e.g. population-dynamics theory) or materials (e.g. resource-competition theory). These two classes of theory have been formulated using different assumptions, and yield distinct, but often complementary predictions for the same or similar phenomena. For example, the energy-based equation of von Bertalanffy and the nutrient-based equation of Droop both describe growth. Yet, there is relatively little theoretical understanding of how these two distinct classes of theory, and the currencies they use, are interrelated. Here, we begin to address this issue by integrating models and concepts from two rapidly developing theories, the metabolic theory of ecology and ecological stoichiometry theory. We show how combining these theories, using recently published theory and data along with new theoretical formulations, leads to novel predictions on the flux, storage and turnover of energy and materials that apply to animals, plants and unicells. The theory and results presented here highlight the potential for developing a more general ecological theory that explicitly relates the energetics and stoichiometry of individuals, communities and ecosystems to subcellular structures and processes. We conclude by discussing the basic and applied implications of such a theory, and the prospects and challenges for further development. [source]

Prospects for an Environmental Economic Geography: Linking Ecological Modernization and Regulationist Approaches

David Gibbs
Abstract: Although the "new" economic geography has explored links between the subdiscipline's traditional areas of study and cultural, institutional, and political realms, environmental issues remain comparatively underresearched within the subdiscipline. This article contends not only that the environment is of key importance to economic geography, but also that economic geographers can make an important contribution to environmental debates, through providing not just a better analysis and theoretical understanding, but also better policy proscription. Rather than claim new intellectual territory, the intention is to suggest potential creative opportunities for linking economic geography's strengths with those insights from other theoretical perspectives. In particular, this article focuses upon linking insights from ecological modernization theory, developed by environmental sociologists, with regulationist approaches. [source]

Trophic Egg Production in a Subsocial Shield Bug, Parastrachia japonensis Scott (Heteroptera: Parastrachiidae), and its Functional Value

ETHOLOGY, Issue 12 2005
Mantaro Hironaka
Females of the gregarious shield bug, Parastrachia japonensis Scott (Heteroptera: Parastrachiidae) engage in extensive parental care behaviors that include egg and nymph guarding and progressive provisioning of drupes of the solitary host tree, Schoepfia jasminodora (Olacaceae: Rosidae: Santales). We noted that some eggs in every egg mass failed to turn pink and develop eye-spots indicative of developing embryos, suggesting that they are infertile, and therefore non-viable. We also observed newly hatched nymphs probing, and presumably feeding, on the egg mass remains. In the present report, through field observations and experiments involving removal of these non-viable eggs in the laboratory, we demonstrate that their presence is correlated with significant increases in nymphal weight, developmental rate and survival in the absence of other food. Thus, we conclude that an additional manifestation of the parental care behaviors that P. japonensis females use to increase their reproductive success is the production of trophic eggs. Some physical traits of the trophic eggs and their functional role in this system are discussed in the context of our current theoretical understanding of extended parental care. [source]

The lifespan and life-cycle of self-help groups: a retrospective study of groups in Nottingham, UK

Sarah Chaudhary LLB (Hons) MA
Abstract This article is based on an analysis of a practice database held by Self Help Nottingham, an organisation that supports local self-help groups. The database contains details of 936 groups that closed between 1982 and 2007. The aim of the study is to provide qualitative and descriptive quantitative information about the life-cycles of self-help groups, the problems that they face throughout their existence and the likelihood of different problems leading to their closure. The database was not collated for research purposes and so we restrict our discussion of the findings to identification of broad patterns regarding the birth and closure rates of different types of group and questions for future research. Comparisons were made between groups that addressed different types of problem, groups with different memberships and groups that had reached different stages in their existence. There was reasonable consistency in the survival rates of different types of group with physical health groups being the most likely to reach maturity followed by mental health and lastly social issue groups. Survival rates for groups that serve different membership populations were reasonably constant although there were some anomalies. There were high levels of consistency regarding the reasons for closure for groups closing at different stages of maturity. The most commonly cited reasons among all groups were the withdrawal of a ,key' member and a decline in membership. The article suggests that some of the assumptions and prescriptions within the existing literature need to be considered in light of more detailed empirical evidence, and it raises questions about the theoretical understanding of self-help groups. [source]

Learning to Manage the University: Tales of Training and Experience

Rachel Johnson
The paper draws on interviews with ,manager-academics' (Pro-Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors and Heads of Department) in UK universities to examine their views on their preparation, training and support for their roles. Following a brief description of the ESRC-funded study, the paper describes manager-academics' reported career trajectories, motivations and initial experiences, and the training they received: their views both of training and of less formal learning are ambivalent and often hesitant. However, the interviews reveal processes and contexts that manager-academics consider beneficial to their own learning and development, and this analysis suggests both theoretical understanding and practical guidelines. Manager-academics' learning occurs through engagement in practice and through social interaction, and is context-specific. Institutions can foster learning and good management by acknowledging these characteristics and promoting opportunities for self-critical reflection, peer feedback and collective articulation and sharing of experience. [source]

Industry differences in the neoliberal transformation of Australian industrial relations

Mark Bray
ABSTRACT This article argues that our theoretical understanding of neoliberalism and empirical understanding of the transformation of industrial relations in Australia since the early 1990s can be improved by disaggregating analysis from national to industry level, and by focusing on the dual neoliberal objectives of decollectivisation and individualisation. [source]

Theory of chemical bonds in metalloenzymes.


Abstract Reaction mechanisms of oxygen evolution in native and artificial photosynthesis II (PSII) systems have been investigated on the theoretical grounds, together with experimental results. First of all, our previous broken-symmetry (BS) molecular orbitals (MO) calculations are reviewed to elucidate the instability of the d,-p, bond in high-valent (HV) Mn(X)O systems and the d,-p,-d, bond in HV MnOMn systems. The triplet instability of these bonds entails strong or intermediate diradical characters: ,Mn(IV)O, and ,MnOMn,; the BS MO resulted from strong electron correlation, leading to the concept of electron localizations and local spins. The BS computations have furthermore revealed guiding principles for derivation of selection rules for radical reactions of local spins. As a continuation of these theoretical results, the BS MO interaction diagrams for oxygen-radical coupling reactions in the oxygen evolution complex (OEC) in the PSII have been depicted to reveal scope and applicability of local singlet diradical (LSD) and local triplet diradical (LTD) mechanisms that have been successfully utilized for theoretical understanding of oxygenation reactions mechanisms by p450 and methane monooxygenase (MMO). The manganese-oxide cluster models examined are London, Berlin, and Berkeley models of CaMn4O4 and related clusters Mn4O4 and Mn3Ca. The BS MO interaction diagrams have revealed the LSD and/or LTD mechanisms for generation of molecular oxygen in the total low-, intermediate and high-spin states of these clusters. The spin alignments are found directly corresponding to the spin-coupling mechanisms of oxygen-radical sites in these clusters. The BS UB3LYP calculations of the clusters have been performed to confirm the comprehensive guiding principles for oxygen evolution; charge and spin densities by BS UB3LYP are utilized for elucidation and confirmation of the LSD and LTD mechanisms. Applicability of the proposed selection rules are examined in comparison with a lot of accumulated experimental and theoretical results for oxygen evolution reactions in native and artificial PSII systems. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2010 [source]

Task-Based Assessment Centers: Empirical support for a systems model

Duncan J. R. Jackson
Task-based assessment centers (TBACs) have been suggested to hold promise for practitioners and users of real-world ACs. However, a theoretical understanding of this approach is lacking in the literature, which leads to misunderstandings. The present study tested aspects of a systems model empirically, to help elucidate TBACs and explore their inner workings. When applied to data from an AC completed by 214 managers, canonical correlation analysis revealed that extraversion, abstract reasoning, and verbal reasoning, conceptualized as inputs into a system, explained around 21% of variance in manifest assessment center behavior. Behavior, in this regard, was found to consist of both general and situationally specific elements. Results are discussed in terms of their support for a systems model and as they pertain to the literature on TBACs. [source]

Trafficking and Human Smuggling: A European Perspective

John Salt
The article reviews the empirical evidence for trafficking and human smuggling in Europe. It argues that a market for irregular migration services has emerged, in which the mechanisms and forms of organization are still relatively unknown. Irregular migrants using these services are exposed both to unscrupulous service providers and to the immigration and policing authorities, thereby generating a dependence on safeguards provided by the trafficking networks. Thus a symbiosis has developed between trafficker and trafficked. The enormous interest and concern for trafficking and human smuggling in governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, in the media and popular opinion, is running ahead of theoretical understanding and factual evidence. This has implications for policy measures designed to combat trafficking and human smuggling, which may not work and also have unintended side effects. The article begins with a discussion of the main conceptual and definitional issues confronting researchers and politicians. This is followed by an assessment of the main theoretical approaches that have been developed and an evaluation of current statistical knowledge. Information on the organizational structure of trafficking organizations is then reviewed, followed by a summary of the characteristics of migrants involved, based on empirical studies that have been carried out. The article concludes by indicating some of the main research priorities. [source]

Migrant Assimilation in Europe: A Transnational Family Affair1

Sam Scott
The paper advances our empirical and theoretical understanding of migrant assimilation. It does so by focusing on a very particular group of individuals who appear more likely than other migrant types to "go native." We call these individuals "mixed nationality relationship migrants" (i.e., migrants who have committed to a life outside their home country because of the presence of a foreign partner). The paper argues that the transnational family milieus that emerge from this form of international migration are critical to the assimilation process. Empirical material from 11 in-depth interviews with female migrants in Britain (Sheffield) and France (Paris) supports our argument. We also suggest that such "extreme" assimilation is more likely within a regional migratory system , like the EU , where the "identity frontiers" crossed in the formation of a transnational family are relatively shallow. [source]

Transaction Cost Estimation and International Regimes: Of Crystal Balls and Sheriff's Posses

Michael Lipson
In the aftermath of the 2003 war in Iraq, there is growing concern over the durability of international institutions and their capacity to withstand international change. Transaction costs are a central factor in theoretical explanations of the conditions under which international institutions will persist or be replaced. Rational institutionalists expect regimes to persist after conditions underlying their creation have changed because of the transaction costs of negotiating a replacement regime. Andrew Moravcsik has recently challenged this view, arguing that such costs are generally low and, in any case, arise from domestic and transnational sources rather than interstate bargaining. Others have argued that transaction costs shape the structure of security institutions. All these approaches assume that states can accurately forecast the transaction costs of maintaining or replacing an international regime. However, as an examination of the replacement of the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) by the Wassenaar Arrangement demonstrates, this assumption is not necessarily warranted. This essay reviews transaction-cost-based theories of international cooperation and proposes that incorporation of a variable concerned with states' capacity to estimate transaction costs would improve our theoretical understanding of institutional persistence and change. Moreover, it considers problems of defining and measuring transaction costs, assesses factors limiting states' accurate estimation of transaction costs, and presents some propositions regarding transaction cost estimation and regime persistence. The essay also examines the implications of inaccurate transaction cost estimation for recent US foreign policy and international order. [source]

A new efficient method for determining the number of components in PARAFAC models

Rasmus Bro
Abstract A new diagnostic called the core consistency diagnostic (CORCONDIA) is suggested for determining the proper number of components for multiway models. It applies especially to the parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) model, but also to other models that can be considered as restricted Tucker3 models. It is based on scrutinizing the ,appropriateness' of the structural model based on the data and the estimated parameters of gradually augmented models. A PARAFAC model (employing dimension-wise combinations of components for all modes) is called appropriate if adding other combinations of the same components does not improve the fit considerably. It is proposed to choose the largest model that is still sufficiently appropriate. Using examples from a range of different types of data, it is shown that the core consistency diagnostic is an effective tool for determining the appropriate number of components in e.g. PARAFAC models. However, it is also shown, using simulated data, that the theoretical understanding of CORCONDIA is not yet complete. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Investigating the nature of expressiveness in stranger, acquaintance and intrafamilial homicides

Stephanie K. Last
Abstract This study explores the role of the victim,offender relationship in the dynamics of homicide, by examining the crime scene behaviour of 25 intrafamilial, 30 acquaintance and 27 stranger homicide offenders (n = 82). Six crime scene variables were examined: ,Weapon from the scene', ,Excessive wounding', ,Facial trauma', ,Multiple wounds to a single area', ,Post-mortem activity' and ,Manual violence'. The first objective was to identify whether these variables could be combined to form a partially ordered scale of expressiveness. The second was to examine whether the nature of this expressive crime scene varied according to the victim and offender relationship. It was hypothesised that the intrafamilial homicides would be characterised by a more expressive crime scene. This was examined by Partial Order Scalogram Analysis which supported the hypothesised link between the level of expressed emotion evident in the crime scene and the nature of the victim,offender relationship. Further analysis on the individual variables revealed that the best single predictor of the relationship between victim and offender was the presence of multiple wounding. These findings are discussed both as contributing to a theoretical understanding of the emotional salience of crime scene actions when killing a family member, and in practical terms in relation to the significance of these variables for both police investigations and clinical interventions with homicide perpetrators. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Shelley A. Haddock
In the past two decades, feminist scholars have challenged the field of family therapy to incorporate the organizing principle of gender in its theory, practice, and training. In this paper, we introduce a training, research, and therapeutic tool that provides guidance for addressing or observing gender and power differentials in the practic of family therapy. As a training tool, the Power Equity Guide helps trainees to translate their theoretical understanding of feminist principles into specific behaviors in therapy. Researchers and supervisors can use the Power Equity Guide to evaluate the practice of gender-informed family therapy. We also provide specific suggestions for its use by trainers, supervisors, therapists, and researchers. [source]

Perceived technology clusters and ownership of related technologies: The case of consumer electronics

Frank J. Van Rijnsoever
We contribute to the understanding of how technologies may be perceived to be part of technology clusters. The value added of the paper is both at a theoretical and an empirical level. We add to the theoretical understanding of technology clusters by distinguishing between clusters in perceptions and clusters in ownership, and by proposing a mechanism to explain the existence of clusters. Our empirical analysis combines qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate clusters of consumer electronics for a sample of Dutch consumers. We find that perceived clusters in consumer electronics are mostly determined by functional linkages, and that perceived technology clusters are good predictors of ownership clusters, but only for less widely diffused products. [source]

The Cross-linguistic Study of Sentence Production

T. Florian Jaeger
The mechanisms underlying language production are often assumed to be universal, and hence not contingent on a speaker's language. This assumption is problematic for at least two reasons. Given the typological diversity of the world's languages, only a small subset of languages has actually been studied psycholinguistically. And, in some cases, these investigations have returned results that at least superficially raise doubt about the assumption of universal production mechanisms. The goal of this paper is to illustrate the need for more psycholinguistic work on a typologically more diverse set of languages. We summarize cross-linguistic work on sentence production (specifically: grammatical encoding), focusing on examples where such work has improved our theoretical understanding beyond what studies on English alone could have achieved. But cross-linguistic research has much to offer beyond the testing of existing hypotheses: it can guide the development of theories by revealing the full extent of the human ability to produce language structures. We discuss the potential for interdisciplinary collaborations, and close with a remark on the impact of language endangerment on psycholinguistic research on understudied languages. [source]

Evolution of balanced genetic polymorphism

Adam Richman
Abstract Extreme genetic polymorphism maintained by balancing selection (so called because many alleles are maintained in a balance by a mechanism of rare allele advantage) is intimately associated with the important task of self/non-self-discrimination. Widely disparate self-recognition systems of plants, animals and fungi share several general features, including the maintenance of large numbers of alleles at relatively even frequency, and persistence of this variation over very long time periods. Because the evolutionary dynamics of balanced polymorphism are very different from those of neutral genetic variation, data on balanced polymorphism have been used as a novel source for inference of the history of populations. This review highlights the unique evolutionary properties of balanced genetic polymorphism, and the use of theoretical understanding in analysis and application of empirical data for inference of population history. However, a second goal of this review is to point out where current theory is incomplete. Recent observations suggest that entirely novel selective forces may act in concert with balancing selection, and these novel forces may be extremely potent in shaping genetic variation at self-recognition loci. [source]

Strategically Managing Negotiation Linkage Dynamics

Larry Crump
Abstract Negotiation linkage (the way in which one negotiation influences the process or outcome of another) presents challenges that are complex and real. Based on field research, this qualitative study examines four linked-bilateral trade treaty negotiations conducted by Australia, Chile, the European Union, Singapore, and the United States to establish theoretical understanding about the strategic management of negotiation linkage dynamics. Several outcomes are achieved through case analysis. This study (a) introduces "degree of linkage dynamics" (robust, moderate, or modest) as a concept and concludes that it is determined by structural and contextual factors, (b) develops a framework of linked party action, (c) establishes guidance for managing opportunistic behavior in linked negotiations, (d) builds a six-part typology of strategic techniques that can produce tangible gains in linked negotiations, and (e) examines research opportunities to further extend negotiation linkage theory. Research methodology developed in this study serves as a model for investigating negotiation linkage dynamics. [source]

Some observations on the l2 convergence of the additive Schwarz preconditioned GMRES method

Xiao-Chuan Cai
Abstract Additive Schwarz preconditioned GMRES is a powerful method for solving large sparse linear systems of equations on parallel computers. The algorithm is often implemented in the Euclidean norm, or the discrete l2 norm, however, the optimal convergence result is available only in the energy norm (or the equivalent Sobolev H1 norm). Very little progress has been made in the theoretical understanding of the l2 behaviour of this very successful algorithm. To add to the difficulty in developing a full l2 theory, in this note, we construct explicit examples and show that the optimal convergence of additive Schwarz preconditioned GMRES in l2 cannot be obtained using the existing GMRES theory. More precisely speaking, we show that the symmetric part of the preconditioned matrix, which plays a role in the Eisenstat,Elman,Schultz theory, has at least one negative eigenvalue, and we show that the condition number of the best possible eigenmatrix that diagonalizes the preconditioned matrix, key to the Saad,Schultz theory, is bounded from both above and below by constants multiplied by h,1/2. Here h is the finite element mesh size. The results presented in this paper are mostly negative, but we believe that the techniques used in our proofs may have wide applications in the further development of the l2 convergence theory and in other areas of domain decomposition methods. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

An evaluation of a problem-based learning experience in an occupational therapy curriculum in the UK

Nicola Jane Spalding
Abstract The objectives of the study was to evaluate an adapted approach to problem-based learning (PBL) on a pre-registration Masters course in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia in the UK. The adaptation, named placement PBL, required students to write and select the material based on their placement experiences, for the cohort's learning. The evaluation purpose was to determine the students' views of the efficacy of placement PBL for facilitating their learning in the final 3 months of their pre-registration education. Placement PBL was evaluated using both questionnaires and focus groups, with two cohorts of students for data collection. Placement PBL was seen to provide current, relevant and complex learning scenarios that help students to move from a theoretical understanding to application of theory in the complexity of actual service situations. The authors conclude that placement PBL has the potential to prepare students for the transition from student to qualified practitioner. Both researchers were also the PBL tutors which may have affected the students' honesty in their feedback. Further research is indicated for ongoing evaluations of the effectiveness of PBL in helping students to become confident occupational therapy clinicians, and comparative studies with other learning approaches. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Interpersonal communication apprehension, topic avoidance, and the experience of irritable bowel syndrome

Through the lens of the theory of inhibition and confrontation (Pennebaker, 1989), this study explored the relationships that interpersonal communication apprehension and topic avoidance in one's closest relationship share with the experience of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Specifically, an online survey that studied U.S. IBS-diagnosed and non-IBS subsamples examined person,partner communication apprehension, amount of overall topic avoidance, and reasons for topic avoidance in relation to four IBS experience variables. Communication apprehension displayed a particularly strong relationship with multiple aspects of the IBS experience, and a number of the communication avoidance variables varied according to IBS diagnosis. Implications for the theoretical understanding of interpersonal communication processes in the specific context of IBS and general chronic health conditions are discussed. [source]

Civic Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Alternative Paths to the Development of Political Knowledge and Democratic Values

Steven E. Finkel
Despite the proliferation of civic education programs in the emerging democracies of Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, there have been few recent evaluations of the effectiveness of civics instruction in achieving changes in democratic orientations among student populations. We present findings from a study conducted in 1998 that examined the impact of democratic civic education among South African high school students. Using a battery of items to gauge democratic orientations, including measures of political knowledge, civic duty, tolerance, institutional trust, civic skills, and approval of legal forms of political participation, we find that civic education had the largest effects on political knowledge, with the magnitude of the effect being approximately twice as large as the recent Niemi and Junn (1998) finding for the United States. Exposure to civic education per se had weaker effects on democratic values and skills; for these orientations, what matters are specific factors related to the quality of instruction and the use of active pedagogical methods employed by civics instructors. Further, we find that civic education changed the structure of students' orientations: a "democratic values" dimension coalesces more strongly, and in greater distinction, from a "political competence" dimension among students exposed to civic education than among those with no such training. We discuss the implications of the findings for our theoretical understanding of the role of civic education in fostering democratic attitudes, norms, and values, as well as the practical implications of the results for the implementation and funding of civic education programs in developing democracies in the future. [source]

How does activation loop phosphorylation modulate catalytic activity in the cAMP-dependent protein kinase: A theoretical study

Yuhui Cheng
Abstract Phosphorylation mediates the function of many proteins and enzymes. In the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase, phosphorylation of Thr 197 in the activation loop strongly influences its catalytic activity. In order to provide theoretical understanding about this important regulatory process, classical molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio QM/MM calculations have been carried out on the wild-type PKA,Mg2 ATP,substrate complex and its dephosphorylated mutant, T197A. It was found that pThr 197 not only facilitates the phosphoryl transfer reaction by stabilizing the transition state through electrostatic interactions but also strongly affects its essential protein dynamics as well as the active site conformation. [source]

Assessing the technological capabilities of firms: developing a policy tool

R & D MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2007
Howard Rush
The development of technological capabilities results from an extended learning process and external policy agents can play an important role in its development. This paper outlines trends in governmental and non-governmental policy initiatives and the use of concepts such as capability and absorptive capacity, which are positioned within generic-staged models of capability maturity. This paper describes the development of a technology capability assessment/audit tool that has been designed to help locate firms within four archetypes based upon their level of maturity on nine key dimensions of the management of technology. The tool is intended to help bridge the gap between our theoretical understanding of the principles of technology management and policy practice , allowing policy makers to design mechanisms that focus resources in areas of greatest need through the appropriate selection of policy mechanisms and the targeted design of policy. The use of this tool in field experiments is described along with the implications for policy making. [source]